BOUNCING BACK: Abaco’s GDP increases by $20M in 2023

BOUNCING BACK: Abaco’s GDP increases by $20M in 2023

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Abaco’s gross domestic product increased by $20 million year-over-year, reflecting its ongoing recovery despite the severe setbacks caused by Hurricane Dorian and the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data from the Bahama National Statistical Institute (BNSI).

The 2023 GDP report highlighted Abaco’s resilience, showing a $20 million rise compared to 2022. Despite infrastructure damages, most industries reported gains above the previous year, solidifying Abaco as the third-largest economy in the Bahamas, contributing 3.5 percent to the total GDP.

Similarly, Grand Bahama’s GDP saw a slight uptick in 2023. Key sectors like Wholesale and Retail trade, Motor Vehicle repairs, Transport and Storage, and Arts, Other Services, and Household Employment grew by $47 million and $12 million, respectively. These gains helped stabilize the economy of Grand Bahama, representing 10.8 percent of the overall national GDP.

New Providence remained the economic powerhouse, accounting for 77 percent of the Bahamas’ GDP in 2023. This was driven by a robust 11 percent increase in economic activity, particularly in the Accommodation and Food Services sector, which saw a $436 million rise, alongside Arts, other services, and household employment, Extraterritorial org., which increased by $208 million.

The Family Islands, including Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Exuma, and Long Island, as well as grouped islands like Bimini and Berry Islands, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and Inagua, demonstrated varying contributions to the national GDP. Collectively, they accounted for $1.765 billion, with distinct island groups contributing percentages ranging from 0.3 percent to 3.5 percent.

Andros contributed 0.9 percent to the national GDP, with notable growth across most industrial sectors. Eleuthera’s GDP increased by $8 million (2.1 percent) year-over-year, supported by Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Wholesale and Retail trade, and other key sectors.

Exuma reported a GDP of 1.6 percent, exceeding its 2019 levels by $27 million, albeit facing challenges in comparison to the previous year, which marked a peak in GDP levels from 2015 to 2023.

Long Island contributed 0.4 percent to the national GDP, showing a slight decline from 2022 but still marking an increase from 2019. 

Bimini and the Berry Islands reported their highest GDP since 2015, amounting to $212 million in 2023. This island group experienced exponential growth starting from 2020, particularly driven by Real Estate, Owner-Occupied, and Actual Rents, which grew by 28 percent, and Accommodation and Food Services, Arts, Other Services, and Household Employment, which increased by 23 percent compared to 2022.

Cat Island, San Salvador, and Rum Cay collectively recorded a 16 percent increase in GDP in 2023, amounting to $58 million, contributing 0.4 percent to the national economy. Sectors like Accommodation and Food Services and other related services primarily fueled this growth.

Meanwhile, the Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and Inagua group reported a significant 24 percent increase in GDP, amounting to $31 million, with strong performance across Mining and Quarrying, Manufacturing, Electricity and Gas, Water Supply and Sewerage, and Construction sectors.

The remaining Family Islands collectively contributed to a GDP growth slightly above 2019 levels, indicating a steady recovery following economic contractions in previous years. Each island or island group demonstrated resilience and potential for future economic stability within the broader Bahamian economy.